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Appelscha

Appelscha is a village in the municipality of Ooststellingwerf in the province of Friesland, the Netherlands. It has just under 5000 inhabitants.History and backgroundAppelscha is a village of about 490 hectares in size of which 8 hectares consists of water, it was first named in written documents in 1247 as Appels which is the translation of apples. The last part of the name Appelscha has its origin due to the woods around the village. ‘Sche’ or ‘scha’ means woods and was therefore added to the name of the village. It consisted from a few farms surrounding the Boerestreek (what was called high-Appelscha) for centuries, the hamlets Aakinga, Terwisscha and De Bult close by. Appelscha remained a small village, tucked away between sand dunes and wet peat. In 2007, Oude Willem, a small natural area in between Appelscha and Zorgvlied was even chosen as most beautiful place in the Netherlands by readers of HP/De Tijd which is a popular magazine in the Netherlands (Nieuwe Ooststellingwerver, 2007).Sand and PeatAround 1450 dikes were constructed to ensure the acid leakwater from the peat returned to the fields. The old Appelscha suffered much of drifting sand from the dunes. In 1881 people therefore started with the construction of the forest. After 1827 the village extends with the advent of thousands Frisian workers for peat extraction, and the modern village was created. The Social conditions were however, very poor. By the time peat yielded much less than coal, a huge strike broke out (1888). Because of this large immigration of Frisian workers in the nineteenth century, Appelscha became a Frisian-speaking village, in a municipality where otherwise Stellingwarfs was spoken, a dialect of Dutch.Sanatorium BeatrixoordIn 1922, the Friesch Volkssanatorium from Joure transferred to Appelscha. Many thousands of patients spent years in the huge forest to try to cure their tuberculosis. Today only the X-ray department of the Sanatorium is left. This is the only tuberculosis museum in the world.
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